Riverside's Railroad-Crossing Woes

Car travel comes to a halt when a train rumbles by in Riverside County but transportation planners are trying to fix that problem

If you're from Riverside, you've probably spent some time waiting for a train -- and you don't always have to be riding it.

"At least, probably, like, once a week," said Olivia Zapata, Riverside resident. "It's kind of ridiculous."

Some trains take five minutes or more to pass a crossing. Motorists said that's a long time to wait. But the situation could get better soon.

"Separate the tracks from the street to allow the train to either go over, or under, and traffic to keep moving and people don't have to get stuck that way," said John Staniford with the Riverside County Transportation Division.

One overpass was just completed and four more are scheduled to begin construction this year. Five more are planned for next year and if Riverside Transportation has its way, all 46 other crossings in the county will follow.

"It takes a lot of money, sometimes as much as $20 to $30 million dollars each," Staniford said. "In Riverside County, the problem goes beyond just the city. We're looking at areas like Banning, Beaumont, even the Coachella Valley."

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